Listed below is a summary of the topics covered at the December 14, 2021 Leon County Commission meeting.
–The Leon County Commissioners recognized the successes and retirement of Leon County Library Director Debra Sears. Sears has served the Leon County Library System for over 13 years.
–The county was presented a $55,000 donation from the Friends of the Leon County Library. The Friends of the Leon County Library aims to raise funds for the library system and promote library programs and activities.
–The county recognized the retirement of the Health Administrator of the Florida Department of Health in Leon County, Claudia Blackburn. Blackburn has served as the administrator since 2014.
–New Leon County employees will not be required to have the COVID-19 vaccine per the new legislation by the state. Leon County has been under a 3% positivity rate for new COVID-19 cases for the last six weeks. The county remains at a moderate transmission rate. In the previous week, the county has had 11 positive COVID-19 cases that have resulted in hospital admission.
–Sheriff Walt McNeil presented a report, The Anatomy of the Homicide Project. McNeil asked the question, “how do we stop the violence in our community?” He explained that the LCSO partnered with the Florida Sheriff’s Association to dive into the research to find answers.
McNeil requested the Board to work with the LCSO on a new agency, Men and Boys. In addition, he requested the Board to collaborate with the LCSO in creating a committee to continue the research, focus on the communities and individuals that are most at risk of becoming a victim or an offender. McNeil believes that one of the best ways to stop homicides and violent crimes is prevention, which begins with children.
Commissioner Nick Maddox motioned to have county staff prepare an agenda item for a future meeting to designate a committee and further discuss plans for the Sheriff’s requests.
–The County Commissioners voted to repeal an ordinance regarding soliciting and draft a new law to govern indecent behavior occurring in public areas. Lastly, they voted to allocate funds for two new deputy positions for the LCSO. The item passed with a 4-3 vote with Commissioners Maddox, Dozier, and Jackson in dissent.
–The Board passed uniform performance measures for the Community Human Services Partnership. By establishing the new measures, standard data sets will be reported within the CHSP system to determine if programs address the highest community human service needs.
–The Board approved the county administrator to request an additional $11 million from the Emergency Rental Assistance 1 program. The funds, if received, will provide rental and utility assistance to eligible applicants, as well as relocation assistance and housing stability services to eligible residents.
–The commissioners heard a report on the Citizens’ North Monroe Corridor Task Force. The Board supported the recommendations made by the task force, such as corridor improvements, responding to crime and human trafficking, and responding to the impacts of homelessness.
–Commissioner Brian Welch was appointed the Chairman for a one-year term on the Canvassing Board, and Commissioner Jimbo Jackson was appointed the substitute member for two years.
Commissioner Rick Minor was reappointed to continue his work with the Big Bend Continuum of Care for a two-year term. In addition, commissioners Nick Maddox, Kristin Dozier, and Rick Minor were reappointed to the Commissioners to the Capital Region Transportation Planning Agency for two more years. Commissioner Brian Welch was reappointed to the Educational Facilities Authority for a two-year term.
Next, Commissioner Nick Maddox was appointed to the Workforce Development Consortium, Region 5, for a two-year period.
And finally, Commissioner Jimbo Jackson was appointed to the Juvenile Justice Circuit 2 Advisory Board for a two-year term.
–Kim Sims was appointed a four-year term on the Early Learning Coalition (ELC). The ELC provides early learning services to residents of Leon County by aiding with the cost of childcare for working families and through the Voluntary Prekindergarten program.
–The County Commissioners voted to draft a resolution related to the Florida Legislative Redistricting Maps. The resolution will state what maps the county approves of, as the process of redistricting will have an impact on communities in Leon County. The Board members were focused on 32304 zip code or district one. The item passed unanimously.
Chair Bill Proctor suggested that if specific redistricting changes occur, it could be detrimental to district one, as the changes would result in the district having a Republican representative.